Generally bad breath odors are caused by anaerobic bacteria living in the back of the tongue, throat and tonsils, which break down the proteins in our food as part of their daily job.
However, when someone isn’t entirely healthy, it can be harder for these bacteria to break down these proteins, as they should, leaving particular chemical smells behind.
Science and studies as now proven, that your breath could reveal a lot about your health. Doctors have gone a step ahead by diagnosing sickness through your unique ‘breath print’. Your body health begins with our mouth and hence oral care has its strong connect to one’s overall health condition.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a tool called mass spectrometers can detect the minute chemical compounds in a person’s breath.
Research shows that what is going on in your mouth can directly reflect what’s happening elsewhere in your body, from your brain all the way down to your private parts. And conditions such as gum disease can be precursors to scary stuff like cognitive decline, diabetes, and certain STDs.
Scientists are now beginning to make sense of what these combinations mean and, in turn, are getting a better understanding of what’s going on inside our bodies.
Here is the top five of the many illnesses that may be revealed through your Breath
1. Lung Cancer
It has already been studied and found that some animals are capable to sniff out certain diseases. Working off of this idea, researchers have been trying to develop an “electronic nose” technology. This would work by detaching different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath samples, according to the press release from 2013. Although researchers are not able to clearly identify which VOCs are linked to different diseases, the study suggests that it is possible for an electronic nose to differentiate lung cancer from different lung conditions and healthy people.
Out of a group of 128 nonsmokers and 114 smokers, the technology only misdiagnosed 10 individuals. The result of this study has take science one step further to understand the health effect.
2. Heart Failure
A team of scientists has been able to detect heart failure through an analysis of patients’ breath. The test was originally used to detect kidney failure using a breath test. The heart patients were merely used as a control. It did not take long for the researchers to realize that the heart patients also had their own unique “breath prints.” Researchers later used mass spectrometry technology to analyze the breath samples for molecular and chemical compound signs of heart failure.
Cleveland Clinic researchers collected breath samples from 41 patients. Twenty-five were officially diagnosed with acute decompensate heart failure. This study could revolutionize the way that doctors are able to detect heart disease by providing a non-invasive alternative test for diagnosis.
Another study, conducted by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, found that one’s breath could show how susceptible a person is to develop obesity. Researchers analyzed the breath of 792 participants and found that those with high concentrations of the gases methane and hydrogen had higher BMIs and higher percentages of fat than those whose breath had the normal mix of gases or a high concentration of either methane or hydrogen alone.
A fruity breath odor, or one similar to nail polish, can indicate a serious problem in diabetic patients called ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening problem that occurs when the body cannot use sugar as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulting. Fat is used for fuel instead. When fat breaks down, waste products called ketones build up in the body. When blood sugar levels aren’t stabilized, the weakened body isn’t able to fight bacteria that can cause infections that harm the gums. These same infections can cause bad breath.
5. Kidney Failure
Breath that has an ammonia-like odor can sometimes occur in people who suffer from chronic kidney failure. This smell is also described as urine-like or fishy. The kidneys remove wastes from the blood. When the kidneys fail, also known as end-stage renal disease, they are no longer able to remove toxins from the blood. Waste builds up throughout the body, and one of the ways they are released is through the respiratory system in the form of bad breath.